On December 23, Huawei released the P50 Pocket, its first vertical folding screen mobile phone, with a price starting at 8988 yuan.
Like the previous series of mobile phones, this mobile phone is equipped with a 4G version of the Snapdragon 888 SoC, instead of using the Kirin 5G chip.
Regrettably, the advantage is that this folding screen phone will at least not be too affected by the chip crisis. As Huawei’s first folding screen mobile phone with a value of less than 10,000 yuan, the P50 Pocket has also promoted the popularity of folding screen mobile phones to a certain extent.
The price of the P50 is affected by the ultra-low pricing of OPPO’s first folding screen mobile phone, which makes the Huawei team particularly annoyed, and Huawei’s counterattack strategy is on the way.
As previously predicted by “Wisdom” (WeChat public account: Wisdom Technology Review), in the next few months, vivo and Honor will release their first folding screen mobile phones, especially vivo’s new folding machine vivo NEX, hardware innovation is worth looking forward to.
Folding screens have become the main sales force of Huawei mobile phones
In the next year, Huawei will also release a variety of models. Among them, in March, it will release the first folding screen with a domestic UTG folding screen. According to sources close to Huawei’s supply chain, Huawei’s investment and planning in folding screen products is a mid-to-long-term continuous plan. This business has become the source of Huawei’s mobile phone business. This series of small mobile phone hardware teams has also become Huawei’s mobile phone business. Tinder to fight again in the coming year.
In the past year, Huawei’s sales of MateX2 amounted to one million yuan, creating a net profit of nearly RMB 10 billion. In the entire Android hardware camp, this is a very substantial income. In the siege of Apple and major domestic manufacturers, can Huawei win the battle of Chibi at a disadvantaged scale?
Folding screen scale war
“If you see any company’s folding screen with no gaps when it is closed, then it must have used Huawei’s patent.” Confidence in own technology.
However, it seems that Huawei is not prepared to use patented weapons to respond to the reference of friends in the design and name of the hinge scheme. It seems that it intends to cultivate the domestic industrial chain.
So far, apart from Huawei, no major domestic companies have really made breakthroughs in hinge design. Companies such as OPPO and Xiaomi are still relying on the supply chain enterprise solutions of the United States and Taiwan.
From the point of view of the screen crease problem that consumers are most concerned about, Huawei has made great efforts in this generation of hinge technology. The material still uses the gold combination of super strong steel + zirconium-based liquid metal. Compared with the improved drop-shaped hinge The first generation has a smaller bending radius, and at the same time introduced a mostly linked lifting technology to make the screen flatter.
Unfortunately, the screen cover of Huawei P50 Pocket does not use the ultra-thin Electronic touch glass (UTG) that is rumored in the market, but continues to use the traditional transparent polyimide (CPI).
In “UTG is good, can the last obstacle of the folding screen be broken? In the article, “Intelligent Things” detailed the development status of the UTG industry. This special cover material carried on OPPO Find N has always been regarded as the last hurdle in the practice of folding screen mobile phones.
Previously, Huawei had reached a cooperation with the industry leader Kaisheng Technology. The latter provided Huawei with the exclusive UTG cover, but it may be limited by cost. This time the P50 Pocket did not let the results of the cooperation between the two appear.
According to reliable sources in the industry chain, in March next year, Huawei will launch a new generation of folding screen mobile phones, which will return to the outer folding design of Mate X/XS and adopt UTG cover.
OPPO folding screen performance exceeds expectations
Huawei is also the only major manufacturer that has launched an outward-folding version of a folding screen mobile phone so far.
Although Huawei has made some innovative designs in hinges to try to reduce the original cost, the price of the new outward-folded version will remain high.
In other respects, as a P series mobile phone, the imaging technology of the P50 Pocket is naturally a housekeeping skill. From the perspective of the rear camera module, the configuration of 40 million pixel primary color camera + 13 million pixel ultra-wide-angle camera + 32 million can only be regarded as “satisfactory”, but the official has brought users a new hyperspectral imaging system, and inherited the P50 series Primary color engine and computational optics.
According to Yu Chengdong, the hyperspectral imaging technology equipped with the P50 Pocket for the first time can discover subtle details other than visible light, while participating in image fusion, providing more accurate image restoration capabilities and scene environment perception capabilities. In the limited space of 7.2mm body thickness, Huawei basically retains the image level of the P series intact, while also strengthening some functions.
In addition to the conventional upgrades of hinges and imaging functions, the application of Qualcomm’s flagship SoC has also become the focus of this conference. This marks that Huawei has temporarily got rid of the trouble of chip shortages, but it is also confusing: Will there really be a market for the 4G flagship in 2021?
With reference to the P50 series released in July, even though it is equipped with the 4G version of Kirin 9000 chips, the P50 series still maintains a hot situation of “sold out” on the online e-commerce platform, and the “folding version of the P50” is obviously for consumers. The author provided a reason to buy.
Folding screen domestic industry chain innovation combination is ready
A year ago, when mentioning folding screen mobile phones, domestic manufacturers other than Huawei did not seem to have much interest, but only one year later, the folding screen industry showed a momentum of fierce competition.
Yu Chengdong’s statement on the crease patent at the press conference was obviously aimed at OPPO, which has been making a splash in recent days. And OPPO did not let too much. Soon after the press conference, Liu Zuohu posted a perspective view of OPPO Find N’s hinge on Weibo, with the text “Seiko pseudo-vertical hinge, self-developed patent, and tight fit.”
Domestic mobile phone manufacturers have changed their attitudes towards folding screens for two reasons: on the one hand, folding screen phones are one of the few ways for them to enter the high-end camp. On the other hand, the growth rate of the folding screen market this year has exceeded everyone’s expectations. .
IDC statistics show that global shipments of folding screen mobile phones in 2020 will be 19.47 million units, and this market has reached 800,000 units in a single quarter in the second quarter of this year.
It should be noted that the current folding screen industry is still in its infancy. In the future, with the maturity of the folding screen industry chain, the enhancement of joint R&D capabilities in the supply chain, and the increase in the scale of mobile phone manufacturers’ shipment capabilities, the folding screen market may see “exponential” growth in the future. IDC predicts that by 2025, the global foldable screen market shipment scale may reach 15 million units.
Domestic mobile phone manufacturers have also made preparations in advance for this. According to insiders in the industry chain, Huawei’s stock of P50 Pocket this time exceeds the sum of previous generations of folding screen products, and the total output may be between 2 million and 3 million units.
This also reflects the changes in Huawei’s product strategy. Although it has obtained Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, Huawei is not eager to supplement the capacity gap of the traditional P series and Mate series, but preferentially supply folding screen products. After all, folding screen phones can provide Huawei provides enough hardware profits.
To a certain extent, Huawei’s in-depth layout of the folding screen product line also helped the domestic related industry chain to complete the preliminary technical accumulation, whether it is the UTG glass of Kaisheng Technology, or the screen hinge of Yian Technology, these are Huawei folding The direct product of the screen strategy.
In the near future to the next six months, Huawei will also release two folding screen phones; one is a more affordable internal folding phone, and the other is an upgraded version of the external folding mentioned above. According to relevant sources in the industry chain, this phone will be equipped with Huawei’s only 5G version of the Kirin 9000 chip, with a new hinge design and UTG glass cover, and it is also expected to launch Huawei’s original “liquid lens” for the first time.
Of course, such a mobile phone with no shortcomings will also hit a new high in price. The source believes that the price of a brand-new external foldable mobile phone may be more than 20,000 yuan.
In the camera field, Huawei has also cultivated and used some domestic manufacturers. The selection criteria of Huawei partners are visible to the naked eye: there must be completely independent and controllable technologies, especially patents, necessary industrial R&D accumulation, Trisun Technology and new cameras Partners are similar examples.
This domestic industry group’s assault phenomenon once appeared in the rise of consumer electronics brands in Japan and South Korea.
Not only Huawei, the first folding screen products of vivo and glory will also be launched around the Lunar New Year. It is reported that vivo’s first folding screen mobile phone has a very high degree of completion, with deep customization of key components of multiple folding screens. Zhao Ming also said in an interview a few days ago, “Honor Magic V can surpass the market. All folding screen products that have been released.”
It seems that the next round of racing, which is enough to change the industry structure, has already begun.